I gingerly positioned my spices and utensils around the kitchen counter, like an underpaid Food Network intern. I hoped my effort could compensate my friend Ophelia for my clear lack of cooking skills. She didn’t seem to mind. We laughed at my constant checking of the recipe and my week-long commitment to vegetarianism.
My homestay families, in Kampala and Kapchorwa, have taught me far more about Uganda than any textbook or lecture ever could. For six weeks, I will be residing in Kampala, the capital and largest city of Uganda. For one week, I conducted a rapid rural appraisal and rural homestay in Kapchorwa, near the Kenyan border in eastern Uganda. Despite the social and economic differences of these two regions, my experiences engaging with local families have reinforced some of the lessons.
As a study abroad student examining the social, economic and political development of East Africa, the streets have become my educator and tourism in Uganda has become the lesson plan.
I have witnessed the unfolding of tourism as a development strategy by living and attending school in the capital and largest city in Uganda — Kampala. And I have seen how tourism has a double-edged sword.
One of the places I was most excited to visit in southeast Asia was Thailand – and I must say, I was not disappointed. During a week long break from school called “reading week” (nice try) a group of friends and I decided to explore as much of Thailand as we could. We traveled from Phuket to Bangkok and ended our trip in Chiang Mai. Here are photos from each city that capture some of my favorite moments.
After being in Singapore for a few weeks and visiting all of the major attractions, all of my friends and I were aching to go out and explore more. At the time, we could not yet leave the country because our student visas had not been processed yet. So, our first real adventure here in Singapore was visiting the nearby island of Pulau Ubin. A group on campus called GEM Club organized this event in order to intermix international students with local Singaporean students on a field trip to Pulau Ubin. Continue reading “New Friendships and New Adventures”